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Posts tagged ‘Web 2.0’

The Key to Winning the 2012 Election Online

The mixture of politics and technology proved to be very successful for the 2008 race to the white house. This video, posted last summer in the heat of the campaign, explains how big this had really become:

The first time technology really worked in favor of a presidential candidate was for John F. Kennedy during the 1960 elections, with television as the up and coming medium. And to think… that was just under 50 years ago! We’ve come a long way, and we all know that technology continues to become more efficient at exponential rates. It is hard to imagine that Facebook was a small social application limited to college students during the 2004 elections.

The key to winning the 2012 elections can be summed up by learning from Obama’s campaign strategy in 2008. In Edelman’s “Social Pulpit” report, these are described as follows:

  1. Laddering support through tiers of engagement (personal, social, anelections20-20flag20and20balloonsd advocate)
  2. Empowering super users
  3. Providing source material for user-generated content
  4. Going where the people are
  5. Using tools people are familiar with
  6. Ensuring that people can find your content
  7. Mobilizing supporters through mobile devices
  8. Harnessing analytics to constantly improve engagement activities
  9. Building the online operation to scale
  10. Choosing the right team

Obama’s campaign is pure genius for getting this right the first time (my professor described this very well in his Infonomics column). These lessons will be the basis of the 2012 elections and the trick to winning – adapt to new technologies and apply them in intelligent ways. The major difference in 2012 will be with #5 (with the emergence of new and improved tools) and #10 (choosing the right team members who will collaboratively make the right decisions). Striking the perfect balance between technology and face-to-face communications will also be a key factor to winning the future race to the white house.

To give you an idea of where we’re headed, think about this: Moore’s Law states that computers will become twice as fast and half as cheap every 2 years. This means that by the next election, technology will allow us to accomplish things that I can’t begin to fathom or describe. I am anxious to see how this all unfolds!

Iraq 2.0

With the rise of Web 2.0, it is easier than ever to share and explore personal accounts of the Iraq war.

This week, I browsed through some military blogs (aka “miliblogs”) and came across a wide array of content. My favorite three were Acute Politics, The Gun Line, and When Last We Left Our Intrepid Heroine.” When Last We…,” written by a livejournal user named “soldiergrrrl,” was of particular interest to me because it was one of the few blogs that I came across that was written by a woman. Although all the blogs were similar in topic (e.g., life in the front line of war), it was refreshing to read from a woman’s perspective.

YouTube is also a great resource for those looking to see action in the front lines. While browsing through enemy combatant footage, I was reminded of when the Iraq War first started about six years ago. People were fixated on their television sets to watch live footage of the fighting, taken by professional reporters. Now, the soldiers…the civilians…the enemies – they are now the “reporters” conveying the information.

However, I can’t help but think how much of what’s posted online is censored (videos, specifically – but I suppose this would also apply to miliblogging). While there is some graphic footage out there, are the more extreme videos blocked by government or video sites? Photos of dead soldiers and videos of memorial services are off limits.

The Constitutional Rights Foundation has a site that lists policies of press freedom versus military censorship:

  • Policy #1: Press Pools. The Pentagon accredited all American journalists and required them to observe the battlefield press rules (e.g., No reporters could visit any U.S. military unit or travel outside of Dhahran or Riyadh except in a press pool.)
  • Policy #2: Proposed Rules by News Media (e.g., The Pentagon should accredit independent journalists, who must observe ‘a clear set of military security guidelines that protect U.S. forces and their operations.’ Violators of these guidelines should be expelled from the combat zone.)”

In closing, the following are videos of resistance towards the military censorship put forth by the Bush Administration:

Bloggers Affecting the Travel Industry

In my class del.icio.us feed, I came across a story entitled Pushy bloggers to travel industry: Be nice. I found this article (written by Christopher Elliott) to be particularly interesting because it really shows how far the travel industry has come in terms of customer service, thanks to Web 2.0.

Let’s rewind back 10-15 years. Suppose you had a terrible experience on a flight with one of the airline staff members. Immediate action would usually consist of requesting to speak with a manager. Some may have gone a step further by writing a letter (or an email, if they had access) to the manager. You may have received some sort of apology, or, if you were lucky, a refund or coupon. However, this was a slow process. Web 2.0 has completely turned things around.

In his article, Elliott gives examples of how this plays out in today’s world. One is about a bad experience that someone had at a Las Vegas hotel; the manager extended an apology and offered a free 2-night stay. Another lady posted a blog about faulty child seats from Advantage Rent-a-Car that caught the attention of ABC news; this led to California changing their child safety-seat laws.

Twitter is making it even faster and easier to express poor service, and allows members to interact with one another on issues. As Rachel King puts it:

Companies have figured out Twitter provides the opportunity to listen to what customers are saying about their brands, and to respond. Still, it’s not easy for a corporation to strike the right tone on Twitter. Some brands on Twitter seem too formal and stilted while others seem interested in using it only as a one-way PR channel. And then there’s the delicate issue of corporations following unsuspecting customers and responding to their complaints about brands. Even though the intentions are good, it might be a bit startling for customers to find out the folks from the brand are eavesdropping on their tweets.

King shines light on both the pros and cons of tweeting about customer service, but I believe that more good  comes from this “conversation” between brands and consumers.

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